Aquino gets 'confusing' info on Jordanian journalist-A A +A
Monday, June 25, 2012
MANILA (Updated 2:45 p.m.) -- President Benigno Aquino III said on Monday he is getting conflicting information on the situation of Al Arabiya journalist Baker Abdulla Atyani, who has been in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf Group for more than two weeks now.
“We are monitoring the situation. I'm getting daily briefings; we will ascertain the latest briefing. Medyo confused ang information na umaabot sa atin dito (The information that we received is a bit confusing),” Aquino said in an interview during the mass oath-taking of new members of the Liberal Party in La Trinidad, Benguet.
The military maintained on Sunday that Atyani and his two Filipino crewmen -- Ramelito Vela, 39, and Rolando Letrero, 22 -- were still considered missing and were not kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf rebels.
This despite the statement of Jordan’s Foreign Ministry considering the case of Atyani as a kidnapping incident.
Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan also insisted that the foreigner’s case was not kidnapping since the three went to the terrorist’s lair “voluntarily.”
Aquino said there is no one to blame for the situation but Atyani himself.
“I will repeat it should not have happened if the guy had not misled the appropriate authorities. That is the issue and he has caused us damage the same but he will undergo a process to explain all of these things,” he said.
The Chief Executive earlier said he will ban Atyani from returning to the country if he reappears to prevent the same situation from happening again.
He criticized the foreign reporter for putting the lives of his two Filipino crewmen in danger.
Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo earlier said that Atyani and his crew, who went to the terrorist last June 12 to conduct interview for a documentary, are now considered hostages by the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf. He said the three are now being held “against their will.”
Authorities said Atyani was separated from his two Filipino crewmen as the bandit group has realized his worth if he will be held hostage.
The Abu Sayyaf group is notorious for bomb attacks, kidnappings and beheadings of captives.
To date, no ransom has been demanded for the release of Atyani. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)